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The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is part of the United Nations Secretariat and is responsible for the follow-up to the major United Nations Summits and Conferences, as well as services to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the Second and Third Committees of the United Nations General Assembly. Further, UN DESA assists countries around the world in agenda-setting and decision-making with the goal of meeting their economic, social and environmental challenges.
Project LINK is an international collaborative research group for econometric modelling, coordinated jointly by the Development Policy and Analysis Division of UN/DESA and the University of Toronto. Each year, a UN/DESA Expert Group Meeting on the World Economy, also known as the Project LINK Meeting, is held in October to discuss the world economic outlook. The meeting is participated in by a wide range of experts from academia, economic research institutions and international economic organizations as well as colleagues from the five regional commissions: Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
Economic growth accelerated in more than half the world’s economies in both 2017 and 2018. Developed economies expanded at a steady pace of 2.2 per cent in both years, and growth rates in many countries have risen close to their potential, while unemployment rates in several developed economies have dropped to historical lows. Among the developing economies, the regions of East and South Asia remain on relatively strong growth trajectory, expanding by 5.8 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively in 2018. Many commodityexporting countries, notably fuel exporters, are continuing a gradual recovery, although they remain exposed to volatile prices. The impact of the sharp drop in commodity markets in 2014/15 also continues to weigh on fiscal and external balances and has left a legacy of higher levels of debt.
Global economic growth remained steady at 3.1 per cent in 2018, as a fiscally induced acceleration in the United States of America offset slower growth in some other large economies. Economic activity at the global level is expected to expand at a solid pace of 3 per cent in 2019, but there are increasing signs that growth may have peaked. The growth in global industrial production and merchandise trade volumes has been tapering since the beginning of 2018, especially in trade-intensive capital and intermediate goods sectors. Leading indicators point to some softening in economic momentum in many countries in 2019, amid escalating trade disputes, risks of financial stress and volatility, and an undercurrent of geopolitical tensions. At the same time, several developed economies are facing capacity constraints, which may weigh on growth in the short term.
The 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects is the twenty-fifth round of official United Nations population estimates and projections that have been prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. It includes key demographic indicators for each development group, income group, region, subregion and country or area for selected periods or dates within 1950-2100.
For the systematic tracking of levels and trends in urbanization throughout the world, the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations has issued a recurrent series, known as World Urbanization Prospects, since 1988. The series provides estimates and projections of the size of the urban and rural populations of all countries and of the populations of cities or urban agglomerations above a threshold of 300,000 inhabitants. Today, we are releasing the results of the 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects.
The 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects presents the latest United Nations estimates of the size of urban and rural populations for 233 countries or areas from 1950 to 2018, with projections until 2050. It also includes data on population size for close to 1900 urban settlements having 300000 inhabitants or more in 2018. These 1900 cities or urban areas are now home to nearly 60 per cent of the world’s urban population.
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